Working together for Alder Park

We’re better together! And everyone has been working together to increase community pride and engagement at Alder Park. We heard you when you said you had safety concerns about the park. We listened when you said you wanted it to be a place you could enjoy with your family. We ask for your feedback at public meetings, and you shared it. We used that feedback to advocate for changes. And together, residents, SPD, Public Works, all of us, have worked to make the park that place where families of all kinds can enjoy the amenities of the park. And as many of us have discussed, the more we use our park, the better! The walking trail, which I’ve already seen so many people enjoying, is just the latest update at Alder Park. Please join us at Saturday at 3 to check it out and celebrate these changes we’ve made together.

Westwood Mini National Night Out

We’re better together! Team effort last night to pull off an amazing event for our local community. Turnout was better than we expected, and we’re excited about the opportunity to make this an annual event at Alder Park! Thanks to everyone who worked on this event: SPD, SFD, Parks & Rec, Public Works, and my Council partner, Councilman Lou Hutchings! Also many thanks to our sponsors, including our local Food Lion, Burger King, Simpsonville Family Dentistry , and Realtor Jordan Johnson. It was great to see everyone and to serve our community together. #SimplyPublicService #SimplyHome

9/11

SFD and SPD will be memorializing the anniversary of 9/11 today, as they did last year, with fire trucks and police cars at the interchanges of I-385 @ West Georgia Rd and Fairview Rd. They will begin at the time of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers and ending at the time the last plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Simpsonville Fire Department is participating in the Memorial Stair Climb at Fluor Field, along with many other departments across the upstate.

Phase 2 Compensation Plan

The other night at our Westwood Neighborhood public safety meeting, someone asked what the city is doing to support our police officers. Then Facebook showed me this memory for #ThrowbackThursday. I’m excited that in this year’s budget we approved Phase 2! Phase 2 will be getting all employees step increases to compensate for tenure in the new classification. The phased approach to appropriately compensating our first responders and all city employees was fiscally responsible. And I’m #SimplyProud of our staff and Council for making it happen!

For more details, here’s the link to the original post on the #Jenn4Ward3 blog: https://bit.ly/3eCjWpG.

SPD & Westwood Public Safety Meeting

Tonight our neighborhood had a community public safety meeting with the Simpsonville Police Department. I am so grateful for and proud of our PD. Lots of people talk about community policing. They live it. I watched them in action tonight with members of our community. In lots of other places, tensions between police and citizens may be high. In some places a meeting like we had tonight would have tempers flaring, angry yelling, even name-calling or accusations. Not here. Here, I hear residents and officers alike talk about partnership, being like a family, working together. I hear them laughing at the same jokes, sharing stories about their families, asking and answering questions respectfully, listening for understanding, learning from one another.

That’s one of the many things that makes Simpsonville #SimplyHome. Big shout out to Chief Hanshaw, Investigator Donnelly, Sgt. Chandler, and Officer Stouffer for joining us tonight. 💜

“The one thing I can guarantee you about crime is if you don’t report it, we can’t investigate it.” –Sgt. Justin Chandler, SPD, encouraging residents to say something if they see something. “Call us.”

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Do you know what’s up with all those blue pinwheels on the lawn of City Hall? That’s SPD raising awareness for #ChildAbusePreventionMonth. Did you know that according to the most recently reported data, over 19,000 SC children in one year were victims of maltreatment (abuse, neglect)? That’s a lot of kids. Through my work as a Guardian ad Litem, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of child abuse and neglect on children, families, and our community. And I’ve seen first-hand the critical role first responders play in keeping kids safe. We all can play a role in helping keep our community’s children safe. Read more about how you can help here: http://ow.ly/vvHi30rEMgx
#GoodForSCKids

Simply Proud of Our Chief and PD

The other day I was having lunch in Greenville when someone said, “Oh, you’re Jenn Hulehan, from Simpsonville Council.” Then, he went on to say that he actually lives in Simpsonville and has been so impressed with the progress of the city over the last four years. Particularly, as someone who spent his career in law enforcement, he said he was impressed with our Simpsonville Police Department and the leadership of Chief Mike Hanshaw. Several other people, many also with years of law enforcement experience, echoed that opinion. I’m so #SimplyProud that when I go out into the community today, people speak positively about our City and the men and women who serve it.

Since it’s #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a picture of the Chief and me at the Knights of Honor gala earlier this year, where we saw one of our officers, Karlee Foster, presented with the prestigious Gregory Alia Award.

Q&A: Has Crime Decreased in Simpsonville?

“Has Crime Decreased in Simpsonville?” This question, or the implication that crime has risen in the last few years, comes up every now and then. I recently compared monthly Police Department reports that I have received since January 2016. It looked to me like crime has decreased recently. So I asked Chief Hanshaw for a comprehensive yearly comparison based on reported crime over the past 4 years within the City of Simpsonville. You can see the raw numbers below. Please note that some of the reported incidents reflected in this report could have been unfounded, or found to be false at a later date. The data was researched and compiled using the Police Department’s report management system, LawTrak. Our PD is fully staffed with some of the best law enforcement professionals around. As individuals and as a Department, they have recently received awards and accolades for their work. I’m #SimplyProud of the hard-working men and women of the Simpsonville Police Department for keeping us #SimplySafe! If you have any questions, concerns, or need for clarification regarding the report, please contact Chief Hanshaw or Cpl. Chandler at SPD.crime slide

Serve & Connect Award

I was so thankful to have the opportunity to attend the Serve & Connect Knight of Honor Gala, where she received the prestigious Gregory Alia Award for excellence in community policing. As I said before, I first met Officer Foster at a Clean Up day (like the one we have scheduled THIS Saturday!). Officer Foster recently saved a resident from an overdose. She helped return a missing suicidal boy to his home. Her quick thinking and level-headedness at a domestic violence call allowed her to de-escalate the situation and disarm a man threatening his wife without any injuries. And when she saw a little boy trying to play basketball with a medicine ball, she stopped to talk to him and find out why. When he told her his had been damaged and his parents couldn’t afford to buy him a new one, she got him one. On her time off, she took a homeless woman to her AA meetings and the Social Security Office. Every day, in a million large and small ways, she is making a difference in our community. And she says, “I’m honored and humbled to have won this award when I truly feel that I do nothing special.” I think what she does is very special. It takes a special kind of person to do this job—not just to enforce the law but to do it with compassion and kindness, in a way the creates connection and builds relationships and trust and makes our community safer, healthier, and happier. We are blessed to have her in the Simpsonville Police Department. And we are blessed with so many other officers whose good works go unnoticed every day but make significant contributions to our quality of life.